“When James Benjamin Waters was born on October 14, 1891, in Georgia, his father, John, was 25 and his mother, Fanny, was 21. He married Willie Odessa Nipper in December 1915 in Turner, Georgia. They had 10 children in 17 years. He died on April 28, 1950, in Crisp, Georgia, at the age of 58, and was buried in Arabi, Georgia.” – from Ancestry.com, via Story View
One of the new features on Ancestry.com that I’m loving is the Story View. Once you have a person’s name and everything else entered and linked, you can click on the “Story View” button and it will create a timeline utilizing the photos and documents that are there. **NOTE** I’ve been told that not everyone has this feature yet, but that it is coming soon!! It’s located in the top box of your person’s profile right under the birth and death location and is green. (It’s beside the “Edit this person” button.)
Records that I’ve seen don’t seem to indicate specifically where he was born; however, it’s pretty safe to assume it was Worth county, Georgia since records to indicate at least in Georgia. A birth date of 1891 is a blessing in disguise with the Federal Census records from 1890 having been destroyed. This means that the first one he would show up in would be the 1900 one. In fact he does! He’s listed as living with his parents (John and Fanny), two older siblings (William and Cora), and three younger (Lizzie, Ella, and Johnie) in Militia District 1121, Worth county, Georgia. The 1910 Federal census finds something fascinating. It appears that by that time Fanny was married to Elbert Youngblood. The interesting part is that James is listed next door as “Ben”and living with his grandfather (Gus Youngblood). This wouldn’t have been too uncommon, but is still interesting to note and reinforces the need to view all the names and information on a record page!
He married Willie Odessa in 1915 and had one child prior to June of 1917 when he registered for the draft (World War I). His draft card lists “wife and 4 children”, which would be Willie Odessa, their son, and her three girls with Andy Pitts. (Remember, one passed away at the age of two.) The card says he lived in Ashburn and was a farmer. The Registrar gives a glimpse at what he looked like by describing him as having medium height, medium build, blue eyes, and dark brown hair.
I haven’t located the 1920 census records for him, but did find him living in Vickers, Turner county, Georgia in 1930. Those records list him and Willie (or “Millie” as it was transcribed) as having six children with them at the time, one being Nip. In the 1940 Census, we find “J.B.” and “Odessa” living in Vickers still with 5 children and their grandchild. I’m not sure who’s child since the last name is listed as Waters but is crossed out. (I also haven’t investigated the matter as of yet… will update later!!) James passed away April 28, 1950 in Crisp county, Georgia. He’s buried amongst family at Zion Hope Cemetery.